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- Georgia Correspondence: March, 6, 1869
Christian Recorder: March, 6, 1869
Mr. Editor:- As you have so often requested me to resume my former relation with the Recorder as a regular correspondent, and several other good friends having signified a similar desire, during my recent tour through the North, and inasmuch as we have no correspondence from Georgia, I have concluded to yield so much of an acquiescence with the general desire of my friends as to write at least an occasional letter.
A young lady of excellent qualities, but of a mirthful nature, remarked in my presence while in New York a few weeks ago, that "we have had nothing to laugh at in the Recorder since Chaplain Turner stopped writing for it." This and similar remarks from others leads me to presume at least, that it is the uniform ridiculousness of my letters that commends them to public interest. But in this day of form and fashion, it is almost an essential pre-requisite to success in all literary departments to recognize so much of our morbid propensities as are productive of a little half-witted discernment of ordinary affairs. Therefore, if you should find an occasional paragraph in my letters too foreign to a high-toned Christian newspaper, you are at liberty to throw it aside.
I left Washington City on Thursday morning, the 28th of January, for the revolutionary State of Georgia, where the legislature over rides the Constitution, and defies Congress. Nothing of interest transpired along the irksome router that was extraordinary in its character, except on the Tennessee and Virginia R.R., a colored man, who not having the fear of a democratic conductor before his eyes, had the unheard of audacity to go into a white folk's car which was treason against the South. The "contemptible nigger," sat there a few moments on pins, points upwards, amid the gaze and stars of the lords of the land. The conductor soon came along collecting the fare, when several whites ran to him as though their last moments were at hand. He stepped back, and after some whispering and pointing toward a certain seat, by these outrage sons of America, lo and behold! his eyes fell upon a half white scamp, in a suit of fine black cloth, fur hat, and kid gloves, who seemed to have forgotten that he was a "nigger," "monkey," or "ourang outang," or some kind of a brute. The conductor after staggering a little under the effects of the unnatural scene, resume so much of his former equilibrium as to enable him to get up to this horrible creature. And tapping him on the shoulders, remarked, "Dat yonder front car is for your likes." But said the colored man, "I paid for a first-class ticket." "I got nothing to do with what you paid for, yonder is your car." The conversation proceed in this form some three minutes, when to the glory hallelujahs of the death stricken whites, the audacious wretch took up his violin and came among the rest of the colored gentry, where a few dissolute whites were discoursing in obscene and vulgar language. The colored man endeavored to ease his pain by the utterance of bitter invectives, and by scraping a few tunes on his violin, and closed the drama by going to sleep. One thing I must say for the colored man he was brave to the core and had the conductor accepted his challenge, we would have seen stirring times there, but he and all his advisors were afraid to try that game. Everything passed off smoothly until I arrived at Dalton, GA. Here, I was surrounded by a crowd of inquirers, as to what was going to be the fate of Georgia. I thought best to tell them that Congress would adjust all her difficulties when the time arrived. A few hears more brought us to Atlanta, where that lawless conclave sins dally in mob form to make partisans laws for the government of a few people. Here I found everybody anxious to learn the news. Democrats who had stopped speaking to me, came up and shock my hand, being in a most glorious humor, and seemed to love me better than ever before. They were so sorry the colored men were out of the legislature, that they were tempted almost to shed a few crocodile tears over it. But that they are not sorry enough to do right with it all, I found out very soon.
I arrived in Macon (my home) on Sunday morning; but this is already too long. I will close by promising a report of our public reception in my next. Before closing, I think it is but just to say, that the white people of Georgia, for some reason, are doing better by the colored people just now than they have since freedom. Whether they have received to do better in the future, or whether it is to affect Congress or not, I cannot say, but there is a great reformation somehow.